Okay so it’s not, but for us in the gift giving business, it is!!! It’s time to plan our your early bird specials and plant the seed for the perfect Christmas gift! We plan to launch two fun “commercials” we shot on our You Tube channel, Facebook, on all our blogs and newsletters too. We want to make sure that we take advantage of this season more than ever, pushing our “Bombshell Books®”, our Gift Cards, our early bird photo session and eventually our last minute photo sessions. Next week we are going to kick off a big early bird sale!
So since we are hard little elves at work, we thought we would give our fellow boudoir photographers a little reminder. Tis the season to get motivated! Make the most of the Christmas season and start early!! A video isn’t totally necessary, as long as you make up some cute jpegs to get people feeling that holiday fuzzy good feeling you are set. Then blast them every where ;)
Oh and PS, don’t forget to remind people about your turnaround times to light a fire under their booties to book asap, here is an example of what we put on our blog that’s geared toward potential boudoir clients….
Merry Christmas, I mean Happy Halloween from Marissa & Kimberlee ;)
I mean…. it’s a blessing…. we are BLESSED with this amazing life, but it doesn’t mean that some weeks aren’t a little tougher than others. Or A LOT tougher than others.
BUT, we have found the antidote to most stress for the photographer. It’s called “Believe in beauty”, and it’s a reminder why we do what we do. To create art.
Get a model or a friend, and just go have fun and MAKE MAGIC!!! This is the antidote when you have too many bills to pay, when you have to do any kind of terrible admin task, when you have to stay late to clean the toilets or organize your billions of receipts. Or fix that darn techie thing that needs fixing and is beyond frustrating.
When you are overwhelmed, take a 5 hour break and go shoot something you always dreamed of shooting. And then when you get back to the mundane, whoa, it’s like you appreciate it. Because it’s those exhausting things that afford you the time to be you .
The other day, K was in town, so we had serious to-do after even more serious to-do to plow through, and when we were feeling blah we said, ” let’s get up early and let’s make some freaking magic.” And it lit our souls on fire.
As my all time favie movie “Vanilla Sky” said so wonderfully, “you can’t taste the sweet without the sour.” Meaning how sweet is the sweet part of our job once we get through the sour. Let’s make our own magic people, we are blessed with a job where that is our number one goal. So let’s make it a priority.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”- Theodore Roosevelt
Like we mentioned earlier, it is “Self Awareness” month, and we think a big part of that is paying attention to what goes on in our thought process throughout the day, and unfortunately for most of us comparison is a big one. Whether it’s comparing physical appearance, smarts, wealth, personalities, activities, the list can go on and on. We don’t want to do it, and we certainly don’t mean to do it, but alas……we do. For Self Awareness month we are inviting you to try to recognize those thoughts when they pop up, take them captive, and chuck them out of your brain and stomp on the thought, realize it’s only holding your back from joy and self acceptance. Everyday woman tell us that they want to book a photo shoot, but they want to hit the gym first so they can look as hot as all the women on our galleries, and our photo shoots are just not about that. They are about looking like you, and celebrating YOU. When you walk into our studio it’s totally affirming yourself, saying “dammit I love myself, I am grateful for the body I do have and I am going to give myself some serious positive affirmation today!!!!”
Comparing yourself to others is an act of violence against your authentic self. ~ Iyanla Vanzant
We are all made uniquely beautiful and totally DIFFERENT. We certainly don’t need to look like someone else! We wanted to take a moment to give “Dove” a serious shout out for the “Real Beauty”" campaign. They are saying different is awesome, society’s idea of beauty is jacked, and life is too short not to embrace who you are, and we TOTALLY AGREE!!!!
You can tell they sincerely care about their audience and the message that they are sending!! As opposed to maybe some other companies our there????
September is “Self Awareness” month. So all of us here at the studio are encouraging ladies, and ourselves, to gear up for this special month by considering self awareness, which we are loving the description of that as achieving total self acceptance and long-term personal happiness.
I really enjoyed reading this article that spelled it out a little more clearly as this…
“Often, people are unable to see themselves as others see them, as their reality is different than most (self image, internally and externally). They prefer to focus only on the aspects of their being that make them feel good about themselves. Or contrarily, some prefer to focus only on the negative aspects. The dichotomy reflects an inability to be objectionable with oneself.
The habit of pushing the ‘bad parts’ out of their conscious eases the mental stress of having to deal with those issues, as positive change requires humble effort, so they choose to not accept those negative aspects when they look at themselves in the mirror.
Conversely, some people tend to sway in the opposite direction and focus only on the negativity. They continuously find fault within themselves which becomes a barrier in acknowledging the good qualities they possess, therefore hindering long-term personal happiness.
Denials are barriers in self awareness. Individuals need to accept all the parts of their being, good and bad, to begin a happy journey in life.” - The Examiner
Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goooooooddddnneeeessss! We are currently burning the candle at both ends working on so many new projects! Now that the studio revamp is officially done, we have focused our efforts on Boudoir International, our new studio website launch AND the Paris photo shoot and videos! Ah! While we are feverishly working away at this thing, we wanted to leave you with a a couple little teasers until the first of many Paris vids is launched….
SIDE NOTE: So not sure what this whole thing is about? You mean you aren’t totally well versed in the lives of The Boudoir Divas? Hee hee, just kidding, sometimes we wonder if the 300 people who visit our blog everyday are just our mom’s over and over. Every year we do our very best to find an excuse to go to Paris, France to work. Cuz let’s get real, if you love Paris as much as we do, AND you love your work as much as we do, well then it’s just a dream-like scenario isn’t it? We usually go to host a boudoir portrait workshop, but this year we went just to photograph our client and friends Tenley Molzahn from The Bachelor. She is an amazing model, and just all around the cat’s pajamas ;)
Hey everyone! How are you all doing this week? We are writing this to you from our “2013 Boudoir Divas Summit” here in San Diego, California! Since I (Kimberlee) live in Washington state these days, most of our planning and scheming is done long-distance. The times when we are together in San Diego are usually packed full of to-dos, projects, workshops, photo shoots, and running around like crazy. So for this trip, we decided it was time for us to slow down the pace a little, with three full days set aside to do nothing more than plan and dream. We’ve had a great Summit so far – and have already decided that this is going to be something we’re going to do every year from now on.
To all of our photographer friends out there – as you know, it is SO necessary as business owners to set time aside yourselves. If you are feeling overwhelmed, with no direction and few dreams, we really want to encourage you guys to have your own Summit. Put it on the calendar, get babysitters for the kids, take a weekend and get away for a few days. Bring a journal and pens (and if you’re like us, you’ll also need big pieces of white paper and tons of fun colored markers like from when you were in elementary school). Take some time to reflect on how your business is doing, and where you’ve come from. And then start dreaming! Where do you want your biz to be in a year from now? Five years from now? Then create some attainable goals, with a timetable so that you will actually get them done. And once you’ve got your attainable goals listed, you also need a few CRAZY dreams. The ones that would maybe take a little extra fairy dust to make them come to fruition. Write those down too.
After just 2 days, we are already feeling ready to tackle our dreams and make shit happen. Want to join us? Boudoir Photographers, JUST KEEP DREAMING!!! xoxo, K&M
“I don’t want to sit around and wait for things to happen. I want to make them happen. I want to be in control of my own destiny.” – Drew Barrymore
Pics by Mr. Weston Boucher (Technical Director of The Boudoir Divas and awesome hubby to Riss)
These are the basics, so if you already know all this, done a lot of it, then congrats! – you are no longer a boudoir beginner! :) And that in itself is a big hurdle because as with anything worth doing, it can be a little daunting in the beginning. We created some steps for those of you beginner boudoir photographers, in hopes that you don’t feel too overwhelmed. I know when I can see my steps listed out in front of me clearly, it can be so much easier to press forward with a large task.
1> YOU MUST BELIEVE ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WANT TO SERVE HEARTS THROUGH THE PHOTOGRAPHY PROCESS
We know this is a little intense and perhaps a little “preachy” to put out there as numero uno. But the thing is, if you can’t say “absolutely yes!” to this first one, then there is no point in reading the rest. A boudoir photographer can’t be successful without the desire to serve women with this important belief.
2> You made it to number 2, ah that makes us so happy. Numero dos is PHOTOGRAPHY.
Boudoir Photography. I wish we could say it’s easy, but it’s not. Knowing how to make every woman look gorgeous, and well not just gorgeous, but the MOST gorgeous she thinks she has looked. Ever. You have to know your stuff, you need to study, practice, and then always have a game plan on shoot days. It’s taken us so many years not feel nervous before a boudoir shoot – we had to nail what looked best, and then create recipes. It took us a little bit of trial & error, and lots of practice with models and some willing friends before we felt 100% confident that we knew what posing and lighting is best to flatter a woman & make her look her very best in her boudoir photos. Let’s breakdown how we can tangibly help you.
>>>>RECIPES: We put all of what we’ve learned into products you can buy. I know that sounds like an infomercial, and it’s obvious we are being a little salesy, BUT the thing is we KNOW that these products work. We spent so much time creating them, are so very proud of them, and have seen so many other photographers rise to boudoir bad-ass-ness because they have implemented a lot of what we taught in them. The best way to learn is through our boudoir workshops (PS – LAST ONE for the year is happening in APRIL!) And then we have other products too – visit our shop to see them all (of course I recommend the Boudoir Biz in a Box).
”I just really wanted to send you a long overdue message of thanks. You guys really gave me so much. You gave me the confidence to be me. I have so much more to learn – but you really taught me not to be held back by what the photography society says is ‘correct’. It’s been almost a year and my business has grown in amazing ways. I’m just finishing my busiest season ever – and I’ve already booked a bunch of work for next year! Anyway – I just really wanted to say thanks.” xo, Jennifer Rozenbaum (Jenerations Boudoir, featured on CreativeLive recently.)
>>>>EQUIPMENT: We get so many emails asking us specifically what equipment we use, and it took us a really long time to figure out what we works for us. We compiled not only a list, but a complete, DETAILED boudoir shopping list on Amazon so you can easy purchase what you need. (Be sure to click through all of the tabs – we have camera equipment, lighting equipment, and more!)
>>>> PRACTICE. This is fun part! Once you have studied, & gotten some of the basic on the equipment list, now it’s time to enlist your gal pals and get some boudoir hours in! Don’t let yourself stress during this time – just give yourself some grace and know that you may not come out of the gates as an amazing boudoir champ with no mistakes and no fears (we sure didn’t!) But we clocked a TON of practice hours. The goal is to get comfortable working with women of all shapes and sizes, to figure our what works best for you, and to create a portfolio so you can show the world what you do, and then start booking clients!
We could go on and on forever regarding this one. We love branding and marketing for boudoir photography. We cover this topic quite a bit during our boudoir workshop… but for now, here are just a few top tips for all of you who are just getting started with boudoir:
1. Focus on your web presence. Your website is huge (we recommend Showit or BluDomain), then your Facebook page for your business, and perhaps a blog (or use your FB page like a blog). (PS – if you want a cool template for your Showit site, check out Promise Tangeman’s amazing Sitehouse designs like this one!)
2. Get some killer testimonials and put them everywhere. A video testimonial is best! When we started, we photographed our friends and then asked for their honest feedback. We used their responses as our first testimonials.
3. Build a brand. Choose UNIQUE fonts and a unique color palette, and then stick to it! Be recognizable and be consistent.
4. Be careful where you spend your advertising dollars. We tried to not put anything on credit when we were starting up, so choose wisely. We love bridal fairs because they are relatively affordable and then we get to chit chat with potential clients.
4>CREATING VALUE THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CUTE TOUCHES
There are many ways to describe customer service, but one thing is for sure, a biz will tank without it. We aren’t perfect, but we do our best to be personal and create a fun experience that our clients will rave about because we have done small things to help them feel special. We are very friendly, very kind, and we truly CARE about each and every client that comes to our studio. And our clients know that we do! We try to go above and beyond for our clients. One example of that is in the boudoir photo shoot experience, we are their cheerleader, friend, and confidant. The shoot may have been the third one we did that week, maybe we are feeling under the weather, but even on our worst day our client will know that we had the time of our life shooting them.
We try to add value in every way possible. And “value” doesn’t mean it’s a big expense to us. For example, when our clients pick up their boudoir book, they receive a set of bonus wallets that we picked from their book images. It’s affordable and easy for us to order, and it’s a fun little surprise for them!
Going back to our “boudoir recipes” for a second, another reason we love creating recipes is because we want to be consistent with every client. Another word for recipes could be ‘systems.’ And our systems make sure that one woman’s experience step-by-step will be the same as her friend’s experience who referred her (not exactly the same – of course if will be unique… but the high level of service will be consistent!!) From the booking procedure to the photo shoot to the viewing and product delivery… the goal of giving your clients stellar service and an amazing experience should be the same for every single person.
6> THE FINANCIALS
Either get a bookkeeper right away, or take a bookkeeping class immediately. When starting I read Quickbooks for Dummies, the whole thing, and it still wasn’t enough. Having a bookkeeper is a big expense every month, but I can tell you that no business can be successful without one. You especially need an accurate profit and loss report every month to make big financial decisions, set goals for your business, and see progress.
Cleanliness, friendliness, creativity, fashion-mindedness (made up word), keeping your word, exceeding client expectations, writing personal thank you cards, phone calls instead of emails, cute packaging, personalized touches, yummy candy, bonus little gift products.
Well alrighty photog friends, that is a very brief summary for now with some basic tips on how to get started in boudoir. Above all if you are passionate about this and work you booty off, we know that you will be successful! Boudoir photography is very rewarding, and it has been one of the biggest blessings in our life. We hope the same for you! We would love to see you at our next, and possibly last workshop this April 2013. Click here for more info.
I’m guessing you may have heard us mention our term, “Believe in Beauty.” You have also probably seen many shoots we have done in celebration of this in-house philosophy that we have – with another one of those shoot videos to be debuted very soon! But we wanted to talk for a moment about what the term means to us.
We are so grateful that we get to have a career that allows for us to dream big, to play with concepts and execute them. But while we may be the artists/documenters of these projects and dreams, we are not the creators. We are simply given the amazing privilege to document the beauty all around us that the Lord blesses us all with. We believe he gives us all this beauty in our daily lives as a sweet gift to His children. So the line “Believe in Beauty” is more of a way of giving Him the glory.
In our journey we have been inspired time and time again. Films, photos, writings that make our hearts warm and fuzzy and point to the beauty that we get to be a part of because of God’s love. We believe that it all points, and alludes to, the beauty that is to come in heaven. Here is just one of those pieces that we are inspired by – by Louis Vitton. Click on the image to get warm and fuzzy inspiration nuggets in your belly….
An example of our believing in HIS beauty, is that we know that he made every woman uniquely beautiful. He created us all different, and we are so fortunate to be able to photograph everyday what we (biasly) think is one of his most gorgous and perfect creations: women.
We are so grateful to be able to document HIS beauty. It inspires us to want dream big. To create plans and art pieces that ignite our hearts and others’ hearts so much so that it’s clear that this wasn’t us, that the glory completely goes to God. This is an attitude and posture that we are doing our best to always hold on to throughout the day. I (Marissa) have discovered that the best way to do this is through a prayer I wrote and that I am working to memorize and pray each morning when I wake up and trod around fumbling for my slippers and coffee. We’d like to share it with you if that’s okay ;)
My Provider, My Creator, My King… today I am before you, thankful for my life. I thank you that I have another day to ask for your mercy that is new every morning. I ask for you to fill me with your love. And may I understand just how much you love us — “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (God’s words in Jer 31:3). Help me to understand my worth as a child of God. May I be a symbol of light and hope for you. Let me not grow weary of doing good. I pray that you would bless and protect those around me. May you be my Shield and my Sun (Psalm 84:11). Fill me with the fruit of your Spirit: love, patience, kindness, understanding, strength and wisdom. Place dreams in my heart that only You can fulfill, so that when they come to be… YOU will have all the glory. -Amen